Mont a l'Abbe Manor

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Jersey houses


Mont a l'Abbe Manor, St Helier


U21PSMontal'AbbeManor.jpg


Although not a manor in the sense of the home of the seigneur of a fief, this property had manorial status and the right to keep pigeons

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H20MontAL'AbbeManor.jpg

Property name

Mont a l'Abbe Manor

Other names

  • La Haute Ferme
  • Mont a l'Abbe
  • Rose Cottage
  • Chestnut Cottage

Location

Manor Park Road, St Helier

Type of property

Large country house complex dating back to 16th century

Valuations

  • Mont a l'Abbe Manor is recorded as being sold for £425,000 in 2006 but this cannot have been the whole property
  • Rose Cottage was sold for £265,000 in 2003
  • Chestnut Cottage was sold for £363,000, also in 2003

Families associated with the property

  • Le Couteur
  • Herault
  • de Carteret
  • Guerdain
  • Rouet
  • Osmont: The house was sold in 1932 by Elise Osmont, daughter and heiress of Eugene Osmont, of Caen, and Sophie de Carteret, daughter of Charles, son of Charles, son of Philippe, son of Philippe, son of Philippe, a grandson of Clement Le Couteur.

Datestones

  • 17 PDC ♥ EG 67 - For Philippe de Carteret and Elizabeth Guerdain [1]
  • CDC ♥ SG 1854 - For Charles and Sophia de Carteret
  • LR ♥ RR 1660 - For Louys Rouet and Rachel Rogier)
  • CLC ♥ IDC 1678 [2] - For Clement Le Couteur (1631-1714) and Jeanne de Carteret, daughter of Josue of St Jean la Hougue Boëte

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

The house amalgamates a 17th century house with circa 1500 origins, a circa 1600 house, and a 16th century tourelle. 17-18th century interiors. Associated 18-19th century outbuildings included for exterior group value.

The name is a reference to the Abbot (Abbé) of Sainte Marie de Bellosanne in Normandy, whose Jersey fief was confiscated by the Crown at the suppression of the Alien Priories in 1413. This house has always been regarded as a manor but the connection (if any) between this fief and the present house is unclear; the designation may simply be a courtesy title of the 17th century.

During the 16th and 17th century the house, shown on the Richmond Map of 1795, was owned by the Herault family, later passing through marriage to the de Carterets and Guerdains.

In recent years the house has been restored and divided into several units. As the irregular spacing of its window openings suggests, the main south-facing range of the house represents an amalgamation of two separate structures with quite distinct building histories.

The western three bays are thought to stand on the foundations of a 15th or early 16th century open-hall house, of which the remains of a corbelled granite fireplace in the lower west wall are a relic.

This was then rebuilt in the 17th century with sash windows inserted in the early 19th century. Later in the century it was used as a cider house.

The eastern half of the range is a separate house built alongside the old hall in the late 16th or early 17th century. It is of four bays and two storeys, with an off-centre round-arched doorway with chamfered stone surround. There is a king-post roof structure. The roof would originally have been thatched and weathering stones survive in the chimney stacks, one of which also displays the remains of a sundial. The present clay tiles are of around 1900.

The original plan comprised two rooms on each floor, the bedrooms in the upper storey accessed via the tourelle and via a lost stair and gallery in the former open hall. The interiors contain many historic features of interest including timber plaques in the hall, in their original location, with the date 1678 and the names La Coulure/ Carteret.

There are original early and late 18th century panelling and fireplaces in the front rooms on the ground and first floors and cupboards with original glass in the east room - ground floor. Of particular note is the early 18th century pine panelling with fitted cupboards behind in the first floor drawing room - elaborated later in the century by gilding, and oak and walnut graining.

To the rear of this range is a 16th century square tourelle of unusual bulk and height, its stone stairway serving both main floors and the attic - this was heightened still further in the 17th century with the addition of a square colombier above roof level. Though very rare in Jersey, tourelle staircases incorporating a colombier are found in north-west France and are regarded by French scholars as a typological characteristic of a seigneurial residence.

Its roof was originally pyramidal, but was altered to form a gable in the 20th century. The tourelle also incorporates an early niche and overhead cupboard of possible 17th century origin.

To the rear, on either side of the tourelle, two new blocks were added in the 17th century. To the east is a substantial two-storey service wing added by Edouard de Carteret in 1684, with a large kitchen on the ground floor and a single chamber above.

The original window openings are rebated for double-hung sashes, the earliest known use of this window type in Jersey. To the west is a small square block of two storeys with brick vaults on ground and first floor levels, possibly a wine cellar.

Detached outbuildings include a 19th century two-storey range, and a single-storey stable or byre range of 18th century origin but refaced and reroofed in the 19th century (now converted to cottages) which incorporates brick and stone dressed pigeon holes in the gable.

Old Jersey Houses

The house has one of the finest tourelle staircases in the island rising to a third storey and with five rows of pigeon holes in the upper section.

It appears to have come into the ownership of Royalist Clement Le Couteur after the Restoration, having previously been owned in 1645 by Parliamentarian Abraham Heraut.

There is an unusual oak plaque above a door in the main hall, bearing the arms of Le Couteur and de Carteret in the centre. On the left is a shield with a monogram CLC and on the right a similar one with JDC and the date 1678. This is believed to represent Clement Le Couteur (1631-1714) and his wife Jeanne de Carteret, who married in St John in 1664. She was the daughter of Josue de Carteret, of St Jean la Hougue Boëte, and he was born at nearby Le Câtelet, the son of Jacques Le Couteur and Esther Botterel.

Clement was a prominent Royalist who followed Charles II into exile to Breda, and was honoured at the Restoration. He held livings in England until he returned to Jersey in 1663 as Rector of St John, becoming Dean in 1672, a post he held until he died in 1714. It is thought that the 'Manor' may have been confiscated from its Parliamentarian owner and given to Clement.

Notes and references

  1. Wrongly identified by OJH as 17 PDG EG 61
  2. Not JDC as shown in OJH
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